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Records Program

Public & Open Records

As a state agency, the University of Kentucky must comply with state laws regarding record-keeping. The major laws are the Public Records Act and the Open Records Act. UK employees must keep these two state regulations in mind as they carry out their daily business. The Records Program highlights these two statutes since they are the basis of our records management program. While the Records Program seeks to help the University function efficiently and to support the University Archives, its primary mission is to ensure institutional compliance with external requirements.

Managing Government Records, published by the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, provides an explanation of how these statutes affect record-keeping at state agencies. It also defines the administrative entities involved in developing and carrying out public records management policies. Your Duty Under the Law, published by the Attorney General's Office, is designed to assist public officials in understanding their duties under the Open Records Law.

Individuals needing more information concerning these statutes or wanting to file an open record request should contact the legal office.  On behalf of the official University records custodian, the legal office is responsible for determining whether the request is proper and whether any legal exemptions are applicable.  The legal office is also responsible for gathering the requested documents and then either arranging a time for inspection of the documents or for making copies available to the requestor. The official University records custodian is William Swinford, Chief of Staff to the President. 

Please send record requests, or questions about open records, to:

301 Main Building Lexington, Kentucky 40506-0032 Phone: (859) 257-6366
Fax: (859) 323-1062 Email:
For more information on University of Kentucky open records, please view this memorandum.


For the Access Policy of the University Archives and Records Program see: Access Policy


Public Records

Kentucky's Public Records Law (KRS 171.410-740) states that the "head of each state and local agency shall establish and maintain an active, continuing program for the economical and efficient management of the records of the agency" (KRS 171.680 [1]). The statute defines public records as "all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, disks, diskettes, recordings and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which are prepared, owned, used, in the possession of or retained by a public agency." (KRS 171.410 [1])

Open Records

Kentucky's Open Records Act (KRS 61.870-884) establishes a right of access to public records. All public records, whether they are stored in a computer or on paper, must be open for inspection. Certain public records are exempted from inspection, except on court order.

WARNING: Some Web sites to which these materials provide links for the convenience of users are not managed by the University of Kentucky. The University does not review, control, or take responsibility for the contents of those sites.